“You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; you have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes, with one link of your necklace. How fair is your love, my sister, my spouse! How much better than wine is your love, and the scent of your perfumes than all spices!” (Song of Solomon 4:9-10).
Why is Song of Solomon a part of the Scriptures? This is a love song between Solomon and the woman he loves. Why did God include this book, which is so different in its style from the rest of the Bible, as part of the canon of the Scriptures? I believe it is because God, in His infinite wisdom, wanted to show us that strong, passionate sexual desire between two people who are married is a wonderful and beautiful blessing. When God created everything, the only thing He said was not good was for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). When God brought Eve to him, he desired her, wanted to be joined to her and become one flesh (Genesis 2:23-24). God joined them together as husband and wife. They were naked together and desirous of each other and had nothing of which to be ashamed (Genesis 2:25). There was nothing perverse or “x-rated” about this. Sex within the bounds of God’s law between a husband and wife is nothing of which to be ashamed. It is a beautiful thing that is a gift from God: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled…” (Hebrews 13:4).
Such sexual desire between a husband and wife is beautifully portrayed throughout the Song of Solomon. Although some of the language used such as describing his wife’s teeth as a “flock of sheep” or her temples as “a piece of pomegranate” (Song of Solomon 6:6-7) is not exactly the language we might use today, throughout the book we see the beauty of feeling and expressing sexual desire to one’s spouse. First, they each longed for each other. In the opening verses above, Solomon expresses this saying his spouse had “ravished” his heart (Song of Solomon 4:9-10).
Second, they rejoiced as they beheld each other’s beauty. Each of them viewed their mate with splendor. Solomon said of his wife: “How fair and how pleasant you are, O love, with your delights!” (Song of Solomon 7:6). She reciprocated his desire for her by saying, “My beloved is white and ruddy, chief among ten thousand” (Song of Solomon 5:10). They were confident that their mate’s sexual desire was only them and not some other. The wife said, “I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me” (Song of Solomon 7:10).
Finally, they rejoiced in coming together sexually to celebrate their love for each other. His wife beautifully portrays herself as a garden among which her husband is coming to feed as they come together sexually as one flesh: “My beloved has gone to his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed his flock in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine. He feeds his flock among the lilies” (Song of Solomon 6:2-3).
The Song of Solomon reminds me of the wonderful, beautiful gift that God has given husbands and wives. All because the world violates the bounds of God’s laws regarding sex by engaging in sinful sexual activity outside God’s bounds of marriage doesn’t mean as Christians we should avoid talking about the beauty of the sexual relationship between a husband and wife. Today, I rejoice that God has included this book as part of the Scriptures as it serves to remind me that it is wonderful that my wife and I should desire each other and embrace joining together and becoming one flesh!
“Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband” (1 Corinthians 7:3).